“Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.”
And we also bear witness,
John’s evangelistic team attests to the credibility of Demetrius, “As over against Diotrephes, Demetrius is a man you can trust. He lives consistently with the Word. We approve of him. We vouch for him.”
and you know that our testimony is true
John and his team have strong credibility, so they had a basis for endorsing Demetrius’ credibility.
Reputation gives us credibility with others.
If God gave a report card on your life at the end of each year and published it to the Christian community, what would be your grade? An “A” or “F”? He does not give an “E” for effort. Your character is what it is. Reputation is good, but character is better. Nevertheless, a good reputation is important.
Ac 6:3-4, 3 “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 ‘but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’”
Ac 10:22, “And they said, ‘Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.’”
Ac 16:1-2, 1 “Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.”
Ac 22:12, “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there…”
1 Ti 37, “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
People know what kind of person we are. They know if we are serious about applying the Word to our lives. They know whether we are interested in introducing others to Christ. The crucial issue is not what others think of us, but what God thinks of us.
Parliaments in Great Britain and Canada have votes of confidence in the government. Sometimes they have a vote of “no confidence” in the Prime Minister. If your church had a vote of confidence in you, would they give you a vote of “no confidence”? You may not have anything overly wrong in your life, but you do not have anything outstanding either. There is not much there. They sized you up.
Some of us are all show and no dough. We are just window dressing. We are more concerned about our reputation than we are about our character, but our reputation ultimately takes a beating if our character is not there.
A powerful testimony takes years to develop. People need to observe us under pressure. They need to watch us when we are crossed. They need to see us when everything goes wrong. Would people recommend us without hesitation to an important role? Would they give us a sterling credit reference?